The unit will be heading south on Sunday. We’ll spend a number of weeks in San Diego training and preparing and then depart from San Diego for sandier places.
As my day of departure looms closer, the hugeness of what I’m about to do is starting to sink in. I will be separated from my family for a really long time. Eight months at least. By the time I come back, we will be preparing for Christmas again. I will miss the summer surfing season, my favorite time to surf here in the cold waters of Nor-Cal. I wonder at what events in my childrens’ lives I will have to be happy with hearing about over the phone and seeing the pictures. I — and I suspect all of us — am struggling with feelings of sadness and fears about being inadequate as a dad and husband.
What I am about to do will change my life. I don’t know how but I feel very certain that my life will be different when I come back. I can only pray and hope that the difference is a good one. I wonder what changes my deployment will cause for my wife and children. I hope and pray that those too are good changes.
Once in San Diego, we will start a pretty high tempo. We’ll be working six day weeks, going to around the clock watches at some point. The intensity of the training, unit camaraderie, and the focus on the mission helps to push passed/through/over the sorrows and sadness of separation.
I wish I could close with some deep and slightly witty paragraph about how everything will be fine. I cannot. I’ve no idea what God has in mind for me and my family. I trust Him. Things will go alright.